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2002 Noxious Weeds List

As you've undoubtedly heard, the nominees for the "2002 King County Noxious Weeds List" were announced earlier today. This year it looks like a real horse race -- I don't think we're going to see a single weed sweep all the major categories this year, as Giant Hogweed did in 2001.

Overall I think the nominations are a good bunch of choices, although I must admit I'm surprised that Garlic Mustard is up for Best Noxious Weed (I though it was pretty good but ultimately didn't live up to the hype) while Velvetleaf got snubbed. It's also disappointing to see those weeds which bloomed early in the year get almost completely overlooked. This is only going to perpetuate this cycle where weeds bloom as late in the year as possible -- sometimes blooming just briefly in late December before going dormant and re-emerging later in the following year -- in an attempt to stick out in the Weed Board's notoriously short memory.

A couple of things make this year's nominations stand out. Last year, you'll recall, there were some mutterings about the lack of diversity in the nominations, and, perhaps in response, this year we see an Italian nominated for best Thistle, as well as the Syrian Bean-caper for Best Shrub. The nomination of Bighead Knapweed is also curious -- almost no one thinks that this weed deserves to be nominated on its own merits, and this is seen mainly as an acknowledgment that the genus Centaurea is long overdue for an award.

Well, I guess we'll find out in March who the 2002 winners are. I understand that Whoopie Goldberg will be hosting this year's Noxious Weeds ceremony, which is too bad because I though Steve Martin did a great job last year and I would have liked to see him return.

Posted on February 12, 2002 to